Anyone who has experienced (or anticipates) the family feuding that often ensues over inheritance will find Georgia State University Gerontology Institute Professor Candace Kemp’s recent publication of interest:
de Witt, L., Campbell, L., Ploeg, J., Kemp, C., & Rosenthal, C. (2013). “You’re saying something by giving things to them:” Communication and family inheritance. European Journal Of Ageing, 10(3), 181-189.
Drawing from a content analysis of 50 face-to-face in-depth interviews with Canadian men and women aged 59–96, which were analyzed using NVivo qualitative data analysis software, Dr. Kemp and her co-authors found “four themes regarding the role of communication in family inheritance including: (a) avoiding conflict and preserving biological ties, (b) resisting conversations about possessions, (c) achieving confidence with possession communication, and (d) lasting effects.” They also found that “participants with past positive inheritance experiences with parents adopted similar strategies when communicating their own inheritance wishes” and that “negative messages conveyed to participants by their parent’s wills inspired participants to communicate in opposite ways in their own inheritance planning.” [quote from article abstract]
- Angel, J. L. (2008). Inheritance in contemporary America: The social dimensions of giving across generations. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- Hartog, H. (2012). Someday all this will be yours: A history of inheritance and old age. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Brashier, R. C. (2004). Inheritance law and the evolving family. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.
- Clignet, R. (1992). Death, deeds, and descendants: Inheritance in modern America. New York: A. de Gruyter.
*Blog post title is a paraphrased quotation from a research subject in this study.